“In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we… might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit… to the praise of his glory.” Ephesians 1:11-14
Paul is the master of cogent thought, and sums God’s purpose in our salvation: that we might be to the praise of His glory. This was, in all of life, his goal, and he reminds the Ephesian church it was also the purpose of their sealing by the Holy Spirit. What a high calling! And one that, if penetrating our consciences and captivating our wills, is inconsistent with many of our natural tendencies.
When do I speak up in conversation to draw attention to myself or something I’ve achieved? When do I even consider a completed task or feat “my” accomplishment, and taken praise myself instead of giving it to God? What priorities do I set, decisions do I make for every reason but for the praise of God’s glory? Are my plans motivated by my wants, my choices driven by ease or self-satisfaction or even practicality, or do I seek what would honor my Lord the most? How have I diminished others with my tongue, intending to elevate myself and actually tarnishing God’s glory in another?
O God, capture and bridle all my senses and will to be for You, and help me do all I can, as Paul did, to build up Your children to understand their chief end and live with the same motivation. May we encourage and stir up one another to love and good deeds, to the praise of Your glory. (Hebrews 10:24-25)